The rules that shape corporate America incentivize behavior that has led to the economic puzzle we see today: high corporate profits coupled with low and stagnant wages. “Shareholder primacy” is the practice in which corporations prioritize shareholder payouts over productive investment and employee compensation. This way of operating dominates corporate decision-making today, so employees have

Increased monopsony in labor markets has allowed corporations to gain outsized power over individuals, leaving workers with less agency over the choices in their lives. Labor market monopsony refers to the concentration of employers and the resulting power they have to shape labor markets to their advantage. More concentration leads to fewer employers who offer

Since the 1970s, America’s antitrust policy regime has been weakening and market power has been on the rise. High market concentration—in which fewer firms exist in a given market—is one troubling symptom and cause of market power. From 1985 to 2017, we saw an increase in the annual number of mergers from 2,308 to 15,361.

The Financialization of Higher Education at Michigan State University is the latest report from Roosevelt’s Financialization of Higher Education project. To learn more about the project, click here. America’s higher educational institutions today are a far cry from the promise progressives have envisioned for higher education. Successful public higher educational institutions have, rightly so, been defined as

Today, the Roosevelt Institute released Powerless: How Lax Antitrust and Concentrated Market Power Rig the Economy Against American Workers, Consumers, and Communities, a report I wrote with my colleagues Eric Harris Bernstein and John Sturm. In this report, we catalog the growing body of evidence that strongly supports our view that the economy is afflicted

The dramatic rise in stock buybacks following the passage of the GOP tax plan, also known as the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, has elevated the role stock buybacks play in on our economy. Estimates have shown more than $100 billion in new stock buyback programs have been authorized since the tax law’s passage. Additionally,

Labor economists have traditionally focused on worker-side characteristics, such as education, as the crucial causal variable for explaining outcomes like earnings, unemployment, and inequality. But that point of view depends on labor markets remaining competitive, so workers can earn their marginal product of labor—because if they earned less, they’d leave for another job. What a

In the six weeks since the passage of the GOP tax plan, officially known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, businesses have been lauded for announcements of wages and bonuses. Yet it’s corporate stock buybacks—the practice of companies spending their cash on buying back their own shares in order to raise share prices overall—that

The Levy Institute recently released a research paper I co-wrote with Stephanie Kelton, Scott Fulwiler, and Catherine Ruetschlin that models the macroeconomic impact of cancelling all of the student debt that is currently outstanding in the United States—just over $1.4 trillion, held by between 40 and 50 million borrowers. The federal government would write off

On Tuesday night, President Trump spent a good portion of his first State of the Union address boasting about the economy. He talked about the stock market, which is on an unprecedented nine-year run; he talked about low unemployment, which sits near a historic low; and he talked about wages, which are starting to rise